Is My Dog Pregnant?

Confirming whether or not your dog is pregnant requires a visit to your veterinarian, but there are some signs to look out for that may indicate that your dog is pregnant:

Early signs of pregnancy

  • Decreased appetite
  • Sudden decrease in activity
  • Nipple growth begins
  • Behavioral changes of wanting to be left alone or the opposite-- being overly affectionate
  • Late signs of pregnancy
  • Weight gain
  • Increased size of abdomen
  • Puppy movement can be felt
  • Milk production begins
  • Clear mucous vaginal discharge
  • Signs of whelping
  • Restlessness
  • Panting
  • Licking the vulva
  • Hiding
  • Some shivering
  • Vomiting occurs in some cases

Healthy dogs can deliver without assistance, however, you should educate yourself in case she experiences any complications and needs help.

Veterinary Confirmation

Your vet may use the following methods to confirm pregnancy:

  • Noninvasive ultrasound may detect a fetal heart beat around the 25th day from conception but is not considered reliable.
  • Blood tests to detect relaxin, a hormone present in pregnant dogs but not in non-pregnant dogs. This method may be performed mid-gestation.
  • X-rays which may not be done until late in gestation.
  • Pregnancy in all breeds lasts around 60 to 64 days.